Tag Archives: gwyneth jones

Galactic Suburbia 59 Show Notes

In which the boob window is explained. Don’t say we’re not educational! You can download the new episode through iTunes or here on our website.


Drink Tank loves us! Download their Hugo shortlist commentary here.

Mondy loves us too! He makes us go awww.

James Tiptree Jr finally in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and about time too.

Talking to Alistair Reynolds: he defends the idea that science fiction has a limited number of plots

Locus Award Finalists

Clarke Award

Women in (Japanese) Comics: Cheryl Morgan reports; Anime News Network

Some kickstarter stuff:
Feminist Historical Anthology from Ann & Jeff VanderMeer

Scalzi on Amanda Palmer and how she worked hard for 10 years to get her “overnight success”

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Andrea Hairston wins Tiptree Award

I’ve had the best fun ever being a juror for the James Tiptree Jr. Award this past year, and it’s very exciting that now the news is out, we get to share our picks with everyone! We had such a wealth of material to read for this, which makes me feel very happy about the current state of the genre. Interrogating gender issues may not be something every SF or fantasy book does, but it feels like there’s a hell of a lot more out there than there used to be. (my groaning bookshelves attest to this)

The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2011 Tiptree Award is Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea Hairston (Aqueduct Press, 2011). Hairston had already agreed to serve as a juror for the 2012 award. By a first-ever coincidence, she is also one of the Guests of Honor at this year’s WisCon, where the Tiptree Award is traditionally celebrated.

The James Tiptree Jr. Award is presented annually to a work of science fiction or fantasy that explores and expands gender roles. The award seeks out work that is thought-provoking, imaginative, and perhaps even infuriating. It is intended to reward those writers who are bold enough to contemplate shifts and changes in gender roles, a fundamental aspect of any society.

The Tiptree Award winner will be honored during Memorial Day weekend at WisCon in Madison, Wisconsin. Andrea Hairston will receive $1000 in prize money, a specially-commissioned piece of original artwork, and (as always) chocolate.

Each year, a panel of five jurors selects the Tiptree Award winner. The 2011 jurors were Lynne Thomas (chair), Karen Meisner, James Nicoll, Nisi Shawl, and Tansy Rayner Roberts.

Redwood and Wildfire was a favorite of the jurors from the moment they read it. They reported: “This vivid and emotionally satisfying novel encompasses the life of Redwood, a hoodoo woman, as she migrates from rural Georgia to Chicago at the turn of the 20th century. While Redwood’s romance with Aidan Wildfire is central to the novel, female friendship is also a major theme, without deferring to the romance. Hairston incorporates romantic love into a constellation, rather than portraying it as a solo shining star. Her characters invoke a sky where it can shine; they live and love without losing themselves in cultural expectations, prejudices and stereotypes, all within a lovingly sketched historical frame.

“Intersections of race, class, and gender encompass these characters’ entire lives. They struggle with external and internal forces around questions of gender roles, love, identity, and sexuality. This challenge drives how they move through the world and how it sees them. The characters in Redwood and Wildfire deftly negotiate freedom and integrity in a society where it’s difficult to hold true to these things.”

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Because Gwyneth Jones is awesome

Last night, while we were recording the latest episode of Galactic Suburbia (don’t panic, it’s not up yet), Alisa sent me into a silent, hand flapping freak out by forwarding a link to a post by feminist SF legend Gwyneth Jones who has read and reviewed several of the Twelve Planets books. Including, you know, MINE.

It’s a very cruel thing to do to a friend while there’s a live microphone, and I think I did very well to keep my head from exploding all over the keyboard.

The full post is here, but I’d like to quote my favourite parts:

These collections, just four stories in a slim paperback, are an excellent idea, a tasting menu of Australasian female genre writers. Romanpunk has an intriguing twist on the noble vampire and mortal girlfriend* story (see, these vampires are really Lamia, they’re Roman in origin, and very well connected, but they find the C21 street has its uses). Ever wondered why pretty-boy Caligula was such an unmitigated horror in private life? Or why Nero was finally forced to kill his mother? Refreshingly, unlike Buffy, the mortal girlfriend is not allergic to education and actually has a life…


These Australians give me hope for the future of female, and even feminist, writers in sf.”

Gwyneth Jones is one of my heroes, so it’s hard enough to wrap my head around her having read my book, let alone saying lovely things about it, and the series as a whole. (she also had some cool things to say about Sue’s book, and Lucy’s)

A reminder that I’m going to be reading from Love & Romanpunk at the Republic Bar (North Hobart) on Sunday 2nd October from 3pm (I think I’m first up so come early if you want to see me), and will have a few copies of the book there if you haven’t sourced yours yet. No bookings required. If you’d like me to bring along a copy of Siren Beat for you to buy from me, let me know.

You can of course buy a copy direct from the publisher, as well as other books in the Twelve Planets series.

Return of the Friday Links

image by perpetualpanda on Deviant Art

I’ve had a request (hi Thoraiya!) to start up my occasional series of Friday links posts again. Since I have been slacking off from blogging for quite a few weeks now, I am making up for it today!

Timmi Duchamp at Aqueduct Press looks at the Women’s Hour SF discussion with particular concern for what Gwyneth Jones said about feminist SF vs. SF written by women.
EDIT: Gwyneth Jones’ right of reply, also on Aqueduct Press.

My Mum passed me this link to a cheering and inspirational article about the new generation of activist feminists in the UK (though as Kirstyn McDermott pointed out to me, obviously whoever composed the photograph of the group was not thinking with the feminist half of their brain)

Niall at Strange Horizons links to some Wiscon panel summaries. Sniff. One day my Wiscon will come.

A powerful post by Colleen at Chasing Ray about the ‘are books too dark for our teenagers because everyone knows bad things don’t happen unless you read about them’ stupidity.

Diana Peterfreund on why her latest book was so hard to write, how having babies makes books even HARDER to write, and why it’s important to own the hard work as well as the magical moments of the writing life.

Nicola Griffith (she has been on fire lately!) comparing two LAMBDA acceptance speeches and considering the gendered differences between them.

And oh, the piece of news that most excited me this week: the new Chameleon Circuit album has finally finished production and is available for pre-order, shipping in July. Eeeeee!

Galactic Suburbia Episode 34 Show Notes

New episode up! Grab it from iTunes, by direct download or stream it on the site.


In which we surf the wave of feminist SF news that has deluged the internet this fortnight, plus Margaret Brundage, why YA books are allowed to be as dark as they want to be, the Tiptree Award, Connie Willis, were-thylacines, Ted Chiang and Alex finally discovers Bujold…


Nicola Griffith on the m/f imbalance in an informal SF favourites poll in the Guardian
The Guardian: Damien Walter, author of the poll & followup articles revises his comments in response to Griffith
Niall Harrison follows up on Strange Horizons
Cheryl Morgan on invisibility of women (some really interesting discussion in the comments, too)
The Guardian again, asking with wide innocent eyes if SF is inherently sexist
Ian Sales announces the SF Mistressworks blog project
Nicola Griffith asks you to take the Joanna Russ pledge

Gwyneth Jones, Karen Traviss & Farah Mendlesohn talk on radio about the perception of women in British SF http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011c220
Transcript here: http://vectoreditors.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/womans-hour-women-and-sf/

MK Hobson on the term ‘bustlepunk’ and why there is a place for a domestic sub-genre of steampunk
MK Hobson’s follow up post on the assumptions made about works coded ‘female’

2011 Chesley Award Finalists
Cheryl Morgan on female & trans artists

Nine Reasons Women Don’t Edit Wikipedia
(interesting, I think, in light of the recent spout of incidents we’ve watched, notably the one with Nick Mamatas where winning World Fantasy Award was considered too regional to be significant)

Wall Street Journal on YA fiction

Change to the Norma eligibility guidelines

Why Galactic Suburbia T-shirts are no longer available through RedBubble.

Con Quilt

What Culture Have we Consumed?
Tansy: Thyla, Kate Gordon; Will Supervillains Be on the Final? Naomi Novik
Alisa: Coode St Podcast with Ellen Klages, Eileen Gunn and Geoff Ryman; Connie Willis – Even the Queen; Octavia Butler – Bloodchild
Alex: Chill, and Grail, Elizabeth Bear; The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang ; Welcome to the Greenhouse, Gordon van Gelder; Steampunk! Kelly Link and Gavin Grant.

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Galactic Suburbia Episode 21

New Episode now available for streaming, direct download or from iTunes!

In which we work, play, shake up our format a little (gasp!) and cover the life & death of magazines, the changing face of the industry, respect for non fiction, sexual harassment, rants, reboots and as usual, books, books and more books. Also a few sneaky clues about what Twelfth Planet Press is publishing next year!


Realms of Fantasy is back, again…

Escape Pod Expands:
“We have been pushing to expand what Escape Pod does, adding an SF blog and distributing our stories via magazine format. We’re also becoming a pro market, and hope to keep paying our authors pro rates well into 2011 if the donations make it possible.”

Cheryl Morgan talks about paying for reviews as semipro

On the Cooks Source scandal and seeing stuff on the internet as ‘public domain’

Jim C Hines on reporting sexual harassment in SF/F

Old men complaining?
When you get older, do you by consequence lose your sense of wonder? Just simply because you’ve read everything? And is/should all SF be aimed/written for the 60 year old man?
Jason Sanford responds

New Buffy Reboot

New Friend of the Podcast: The Writer & the Critic (Mondy & Kirstyn)

Rambly Discussion
Books that aren’t marketed as being a part of a series…
Publishing, deadlines, and attitudes thereto…
Chat, rants and backpedalling…

What Culture have we Consumed?
Alex: Blameless, Gail Carriger; The Devil in Mr Pussy, Paul Haines; Women of Other Worlds, ed. Helen Merrick and Tess Williams; Bold as Love, Gwyneth Jones; Day of the Triffids (2009 BBC production)
Alisa: works too hard, and also FRINGE
Tansy: To Write Like a Woman, Joanna Russ; Marianne, the Magus & the Manticore by Sheri S Tepper; Sourdough & Other Stories, Angela Slatter; China Mountain Zhang, Maureen McHugh, Mists of Avalon movie

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia on Facebook and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

OMG WTF is that really the last page?

Day 26 – OMG WTF? OR most irritating/awful/annoying book ending

The first one that first comes to mind is the Mill on the Floss because WTF, drowning, seriously? Following my Lydia Bennet argument though, this one doesn’t count for much because it’s a book I don’t love anyway. Finding an ending I hate in a book I love would be a better answer, I think!

The next reading experience that leaps into my head is Bold as Love by Gwyneth Jones, a book I loved beyond reason. I still remember the sickening feeling of ‘oh oh, only a few pages to go, how can she possibly… oh. WTF???’ It’s the one time I have been tempted to throw a book across a room, so great was my frustration at those three little words, To Be Continued. That’s not the author’s fault though, it’s the publisher. The very idea of publishing the first novel of a SERIAL series without marking it as such makes my blood boil. We need to know if there’s gonna be closure!

Likewise, the ending of Connie Willis’ Blackout is beyond frustrating, thanks to a publishing choice. We get half the book and then sorry, wait nine months for the next volume. SO MEAN. It’s particularly harmful to the reading experience because we had just got past the interesting but not fast-moving set up half of the story and were totally ready to have our brains blown out by whatever Willis had for us next. To be continued. Gah.

I really want to not count that too, and to come up with a brilliant example of a book I otherwise loved but had a stupid ending, and I can’t think of… oh. OH.

Okay, it’s not a book I otherwise loved. It’s a thoroughly unlovable book apart from a few fangirl scenes. But. It’s a book with an ending so bad, so utterly awful, that it colours the entire series that came before it. A book that gives with one hand and rips away marvellous childhood memories with the other, generations before George Lucas came blundering into his own creation with a pickaxe and a host of good intentions.

It’s an ending that spoils everything, and leaves the reader bludgeoned around the head with a little bit of sick in their mouths.

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To Be Continued

I had a great chat tonight on Twitter with @JonathanStrahan, @charliejane, @charlesatan and others about fantasy and the way that publishers are reacting in different ways to the reader resistance phenomenon: readers turning their back on extended fantasy series, and in some cases refusing to start reading a series until it’s complete, so that they can happily get invested in the characters without worrying the author is going to drop dead, or make them wait.

Some of the techniques publishers are using include letting the author finish the whole series/trilogy so they can assure readers it’s all going to be there, and in many cases releasing the books much closer together, rather than the more traditional one volume a year. This is happening with my Creature Court trilogy, where the third book will be delivered around the time the first will be published, and they’ll be coming out six monthly. Meanwhile, Rowena Cory Daniells has a new trilogy coming out this year through Solaris at once a month! As Jonathan pointed out, this is a method the romance industry has been employing for years.

I get pretty angry about the most problematic method publishers use to overcome the reader resistence phenomenon: that is to say, fraud.

I still remember the fury I felt when I got to the end of Gwyneth Jones’ Bold as Love. There was no sign on the book that it was a continuous series, but ten pages from the end, I had suspected there was a lack of finality. Sure enough, “to be continued in Castles in the Sand.” There are other examples, quite a few of them documented across the web, of series which the publishers have, for whatever reason, chosen not to represent as a series from Book #1.

Here’s the thing: there are many things you can do to try to persuade readers that is going to be worth their while to pick up Book #1. But it’s not okay to pretend the book is something other than what it is. A reader who doesn’t want to read a lone Book #1 is going to be PARTICULARLY angry if they are tricked into buying a book under false pretences. They will tell their friends. And you know, if they don’t (as most readers don’t) know much about the industry and how it works, they’re not going to blame the publisher. They’re going to blame the author.

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No Bookshelf Big Enough

So after my thwarted attempt to have a no buying books for myself month in December (I swear, feminist tomes kept hurling themselves at my head, it was a moral imperative to take them home) and because my bank balance is looking somewhat sickly, I decided that I was going to refrain from buying books for the months of February AND March.

This is a very big deal.

What this means is nothing that gives me the ‘hit’ that comes from purchasing a book – which includes clicking pre-order buttons. So far what I have learned from the exercise is that yes, I am an addict.

I thought I would track the experiment (and keep myself from clicking ‘buy’ buttons) by keeping track of all the books I had more than a fleeting impulse to buy – ones that I definitely wanted for at least three moments. I should add that it is unlikely I would have bought all the books on the list without the pledge holding me back – at least, I really hope not.

So far I’m ten days in and I have 17 books on the list.

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